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What Really Mattered in Teladoc Health's Q2 Results

By Keith Speights and Brian Orelli, PhD – Aug 5, 2021 at 6:15AM

Key Points

  • Investors seem to be focused primarily on Teladoc's hefty net loss in Q2.
  • However, the company's bottom line should improve in the future.
  • With growth stocks like Teladoc, the top line is more important than the bottom line -- at least initially.

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Where Teladoc is headed is most important.

Teladoc Health (TDOC 0.48%) recently reported its second-quarter financial and operational update. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on July 28, Motley Fool contributors Keith Speights and Brian Orelli discuss what really mattered in the telehealth leader's second-quarter results.

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Keith Speights: Well, Brian, we have mentioned already that we're in the thick of earnings season. Let's talk about some earnings. Teladoc Health, a big telehealth provider, reported its Q2 results after the market closed on Tuesday of this week. Are there any things that you noted in the company's update that investors should especially pay attention to?

Brian Orelli: Yeah. The top line looked great, revenue was more than doubled and visits increased 28% year over year. Management increased its guidance to $2 billion to $2.025 billion. But investors seem to really be paying attention to the bottom line, which didn't look quite nearly as good.

The net loss was $134 million, which was substantially more than the $26 million in the year-ago quarter. Livongo stock awards that continued to invest after the merger definitely hurt the company. It also had higher amortization of acquired intangible assets from Livongo and from another acquisition of InTouch Health. Then exchange of convertible senior notes in the second quarter of 2021 also hurt the company.

Looking forward, things seem to be potentially improving on the bottom line. The second-quarter loss was $0.86 per [share]. Third-quarter guidance is for a loss of $0.68 to $0.78 per share. That's better than the $0.86 per share in the second quarter. Then if you do the math for the fourth quarter, you get that they're going to lose potentially $0.76 at the highest and possibly as low as $0.51. Going from $0.86 to $0.78 to $0.76, they are headed in the right direction, but they're still going to be losing money this year.

I think that's what investors are mostly focused on the stock didn't do so well after it released earnings.

Speights: At least at one point, I haven't seen where Teladoc stock is right now, but I think at one point, it was down around 8%. This is a stock that if you looked at its bottom line, you would say Teladoc just stinks, right? It's losing money, the bottom line pretty poor, but I think this is the kind of stock that you really need to ask "why?"

Why is Teladoc losing money? Like you mentioned, Brian, a lot of it has to do with the company's acquisition of Livongo and its acquisition of InTouch Health. If you believe that those acquisitions position the company better for growth in the future, then this one quarter or several quarters of losses aren't as big of a deal, right?

Orelli: Yeah. I think generally speaking, when you're looking at a growth company, looking at the growth in the top line is much more important than looking at the bottom line. But at some point, companies have to become profitable.

I can see how investors are somewhat focused on the bottom line as well. But I think if you are a long-term investor, you don't necessarily have to be worried too much right now. The fact that they're growing revenue quite well and growing the number of visits to doctors is definitely the thing you'd like to see in a high-growth company.

Keith Speights owns shares of Teladoc Health. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Teladoc Health. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

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